"Superman: "The Self-Destruct Superman"": A minor earthquake activates a Superman Elimination Machine (SEM) located beneath the Whitehouse. The machine was designed to pursue and destroy the man of steel if he ever lost control and lost his senses to the point that he would present a danger to
Action Comics #390 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of July, 1970.
Synopsis for Superman: "The Self-Destruct Superman"
A minor earthquake activates a Superman Elimination Machine (SEM) located beneath the Whitehouse. The machine was designed to pursue and destroy the man of steel if he ever lost control and lost his senses to the point that he would present a danger to the human race. It was presented to the President of the United States by Superman himself to use in case the situation arose. The SEM pursues Superman relentlessly even when Superman travels back in time to avoid it. He attempts to destroy it by traveling back in time to the big Krakatoa volcano eruption of 1883. The volcano erupts with a tremendous amount of force but it has no effect on the SEM as it continues to chase after Superman. The man of steel then travels much further into the past to the time when a giant Meteor struck the state of Arizona. The meteor falls on top of the SEM but the device emerges from the rubble unharmed. Superman mentions that he has used self hypnosis to help him forget the details of how the SEM works or how it originated. He is then contacted by a citizen of Kandor named Fax-Or who reveals that the SEM was actually developed by Jor-El as a weapon to protect Krypton from invasion. Since the device is of Kryptonian origin, it is indestructible and it tracks Supermans brain waves whenever it is in pursuit. At the same time, Superman seems to have an intense fear of the weapon whenever he sees it coming. The SEM pursues Superman once more causing him to have a severe panick attack. He then grabs a relaxer hood from his trophy case to render his mind a complete blank. The SEM is unable to detect Supermans brain waves and immediately self-destructs. Superman then recalls a deeply buried memory in which he is a young boy back on Krypton. The weapon device is carelessly left outside by Jor-El and the NX weapon zeros in on Kal. It is about to fire on him but Jor-El quickly turns it off. The weapon then finds itself among Kandors arsenal but the secret to the weapons power dies with destruction of Krypton.
Appearing in Superman: "The Self-Destruct Superman"
- President of the United States (Unnamed)
Synopsis for Legion of Super-Heroes: "The Tyrant and the Traitor"
President Peralla of the planet Lahum, who commands an army of virtually indestructible androids, has conquered his world and plans to do the same to other planets, while Diol Masrin, who has led his people in revolt against Peralla, is secretly allied with the Dark Circle empire. Unable to intervene officially, the United Planets requests the aid of Chameleon Boy and the Legion Espionage Squad. Chameleon Boy selects Brainiac 5, Timber Wolf, Element Lad, Saturn Girl, and Karate Kid to accompany him on this mission. Some time later, the Legionnaires capture a ship carrying contraband weapons to Lahum, weapons supposedly effective against the androids but actually obselete. Impersonating the ship's crew, the Legionnaires rendezvous with Chavak, Masrin's lieutenant. They capture him, and Chameleon Boy takes his place, while the other male Legionnaires pose as new recruits. The disguised Legionnaires, accompanying the rebels on a march to their base camp, are ambushed by the humanoids. When blasted, the chemical beings burst into pieces, each of which then grows into a new humanoid. The rebels manage to escape and reach their camp, where they meet Masrin and the disguised Chameleon Boy encounters the real Chavak's girlfriend, Yroa. Saturn Girl, meanwhile, reaches Hueuas, Lahum's capital city, and schemes to infiltrate the Presidential Palace by applying to become the assistant of Wanpar, Chief of Scientific Development, unaware that a woman on his staff recognizes her as Imra Ardeen.
Appearing in Legion of Super-Heroes: "The Tyrant and the Traitor"
- Legion of Super-Heroes
- President Peralla
- Diol Masrin
- Nym Belev
- Marli Zhorg
- This issue has "Mistakes in 'Puzzle of the Wild World'" which lists ll the "errors" in that Action Comics #388 story.
- The Tyrant and the Traitor is reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9.
- It is revealed that the SEM had no working weapons but was used because Superman had a great fear of the machine.
- The SEM was actually designed by Jor-El as the NX-weapon which when it tried to kill his son he deactivated all its weapons.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: Son of Kal-El (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)